Unfriended

“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.” ~ John Churton Collins If you are an underclassman (in your first few years) majoring, involuntarily, in Life after the Death of your Child, you may find yourself bewildered at the flight of your friends, at the loss of your former support system, and… Continue reading Unfriended

Reggie, my heart therapy

He sees me June 27, 2014. He loves a freshly cut lawn. He does a down-dog-stretch before squeezing through the rectangular flap of a door. Outside. Sniffing a path, he finds a patch of sun and flops onto his side. Lying still for a minute, he soaks up the warmth then rolls onto his stomach.… Continue reading Reggie, my heart therapy

Quote: Issa, Japanese poet and willower

Does Issa speak of longing? His tears? Or continuing, despite the tears? I first read these lines a handful of years ago. When I was too attached. Unwilling to go on without— My beautiful boy. I was unable to save him. The smartest doctors in the world were unable to save him. And then, I couldn’t bring him back. No matter how hard I cried,… Continue reading Quote: Issa, Japanese poet and willower

Think of the “Like” button as a “Support” button

Happy stories, sad stories Happy or funny stories compel people to “Like” and “Share” them. Inspirational, uplifting and amusing stories sometimes go viral. That’s the incredible thing about the internet. It can inform, inspire, entertain, and connect us. But, it is counterintuitive to “Like” mournful stories much less “Share” them. Isolating further the one who is sharing… Continue reading Think of the “Like” button as a “Support” button

Poem #7: “AWAKE—”

Sam, age 9

AWAKE—
Too much, too quiet, too deafening,
Too empty, too perpetual, too lost,
Too miserable. 

AWAKE—
I touch his clothes, his shirts,
Each one a personality,
Each one a story that covered his heart;
Their arms sag, lifeless,
They don’t reach up over his head,
Or fill with his energy,
Or cover his life. 

AWAKE—
I’m miserable.

AWAKE—
I open his briefcase, his artwork,
His designs pushed through pages.
I touch the impressions of his colored pencil strokes. 

AWAKE—
I look at his brother, he’s not laughing;
His chair, he’s not sitting;
His bed, he’s not sleeping;
His toothbrush, he’s not brushing;
His bike, he’s not riding;
His toys, he’s not playing;
His computer, he’s not working;
His books, he’s not reading;
His dried blueberries, he’s not eating. 

AWAKE—
TOO MUCH OF HIM HERE FOR HIM TO BE THERE.

Asleep.

 

We use the words widowwidower, and orphan, but there is no word in our vocabulary that identifies the bereaved parent.

So I’ve coined the term willower.

will·ow·er (wĭlʹō-ər) noun

a. A bereaved parent.  b. A person whose child, or children, has died. c. A person that willows, or grieves the death of their child, or children: Each willower processes grief in his or her own way, in his or her own time.

[From the words willow, a weeping tree that has come to symbolize deep mourning, and power, the strength of will to carry on—despite loss.]

With the passage of time, we change. For better or worse. And we learn to cope. Though each of us copes and grieves and changes in our own way, in our own time.

As the days turn into years we learn to push away the painful memories so we can function, and breathe, and walk, and drive…

Writing our stories as we go, revising them, deleting, then rewriting again.

From With time, and lemons, we learn to change, posted March 21, 2013

Cure for grief

“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” – Earl Grollman